Mental Competency At Issue In East Coast Rapist Case

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — The man accused by prosecutors as the East Coast Rapist is scheduled to make a court appearance as questions have been raised about his competency to stand trial.

Authorities believe that 40-year-old Aaron Thomas is responsible for rapes and other attacks on 17 women from Virginia to Connecticut over the span of a decade. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most recent attack — the Halloween 2009 abduction of three teenage trick-or-treaters in Woodbridge. Two were raped before Thomas was forced to flee.

The hearing scheduled for Thursday morning was initially docketed for last month but was postponed after Thomas’ court-appointed attorney, Ronald Fahy, sought a mental evaluation. He said Thomas has engaged in self-destructive behavior and refuses to communicate with him.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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